Joe Mixon No. 19March 20th, 2017
You know the Bucs need a running back.
Joe knows the Bucs need a running back. But how desperate are Team Glazer and Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht?
There is little doubt the first three running backs off the board in next month’s NFL Draft will be Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook and Christian McCaffrey. That’s in no particular order.
But that doesn’t mean they are the most talented running backs available. Some believe woman-punching Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon is the most talented.
He also comes with the most baggage of any player entering the draft since 2015, when LSU tackle La’el Collins, just days before the draft, found himself linked to a double-homicide investigation in which one victim turned out to be his former girlfriend.
Projected as a first round pick, Collins went undrafted, though Louisiana authorities stated at the time he was not a suspect in the case. That’s how toxic he was.
For Mixon, there is no doubt about his guilt. The video is ugly, damning and nauseating. His victim needed an eight-hour facial reconstruction surgery.
Still, Mixon is talented. Very. And one team will draft him; it is just a matter of who. And when.
How talented is Mixon? Respected draft analyst Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has Mixon ranked as the No. 19 overall prospect in the draft.
And guess who drafts at No. 19?
Joe has heard zero word if the Bucs are even remotely interested in Mixon. They wouldn’t tip off anyone in March who they are targeting in April anyway.
But Joe doesn’t get any sense the Bucs would be interested, and Joe is basing this strictly on recent history.
Remember when the Bucs, beyond desperate for an edge rusher, were one of two teams in the running to land social menace Greg Hardy? Licht passed after internal discussions and then told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times the decision was because he “didn’t feel good about it.”
What didn’t Licht like? Hardy’s alleged woman-abusing past (Hardy was cleared at a second hearing, in part, because the victim/witness never testified and in part because he reached a civil settlement).
Joe is just doing math here, if Licht didn’t feel comfortable signing Hardy at a dire position of need, it stands to reason Licht probably wants no part of Mixon and his nasty, sickening baggage, and the massive blowback in the court of public opinion that would result in such a pick.
That video of Mixon blasting an innocent woman in the grill isn’t going to vanish any time soon.